“It just breaks my heart thinking of some little four-year-old trying to defend themselves against this guy”
SIX NATIONS – Kawenni:io/Gaweniyo Elementary Students were allegedly subjected to a series of cruel incidents while riding with a Sharp Bus Lines bus driver. It has been alleged that the driver would even play the song One Little, Two Little, Three Little Indians, on the bus, knowing the children attend a full Mohawk and Cayuga immersion school.
The driver’s name has not been officially released, but a warning released by concerned mother Paula Hill reached Facebook on Wednesday, September 21. Hill’s children persisted in notifying her of the abusive manner the driver spoke to the children and the way he drove the bus.
“They also expressed concerns about how fast he drove — that he tended to slam on the brakes and often slide past his destination. They complained that this prolonged the bus ride, as the bus driver then had to back up in order to get the children closer to their laneway. I dismissed this complaint, saying ‘well it’s a new school year and he just needs to get used to his route,’” Hill wrote.
Hill explained that she dismissed the complaints made by her children initially and reasoned that their bus driver must be “just a crotchety old man”. But, the peak of the incidents occurred just a day before Hill made the post.
“My daughter sent me panicked text messages saying that it was so hot on the bus she felt like she was going to die. It was so hot in the bus that she could not breathe and the heat was triggering an asthma attack. She said that the bus driver would not allow any of the kids to put their windows down — that the bus driver stated that ‘the windows are going to stay up until you all learn to follow the rules,’” she wrote.
Hill further explained that it was a hot day — 30 C — and her daughter relayed to her that as the bus monitor put her window down and expressed her fear for the children, the driver scolded her.
“Stating something to the effect that she has to listen to him — that he’s ‘the one in control here.’ As further retaliation, the bus driver then turned the heat on! There were three children that were sitting in seats directly above the heaters, one of which was my son. My son said that the heat on his legs became unbearably hot. One of the other children called her mother,” she wrote.
Hill emphasized that Sharp Bus Lines was simply going to move the driver to a different route, even after explaining that there had been “numerous complaints” regarding the driver.
But, after she and another parent brought this issue to light and with the help of the Kawenni:io/Gaweniyo Principal and Sharp Bus Lines, the driver has since been allegedly removed and fired.